What Skeletons are Hiding in Your Cluttered Closet?

Closet door partially opened with clothes inside

Is there a scary closet in your home? A space completely beyond your control? For many people, the hall closet is where the spookiest clutter skeletons lurk, waiting to pounce the minute you crack open the door to retrieve a pair of gloves or the dog leash. Even when the mess is out of sight, it is not out of mind. Whether you are consciously aware of it or not, chances are good that the unaddressed clutter is causing anxiety and using up important mental energy. But fear not! With a few simple strategies, you can transform this space into something spook-tacular!

Step 1: Look into your crystal ball…

Take some time to visualize what you want the space to look like. What purpose do you need the closet to fulfill? How do you want to use the space? Don’t rush this step—it may take a few minutes or even a few days, but the clearer the vision, the easier the next steps will be!

Step 2: Gather the ingredients…

Before you start, make sure you have a clear space to use for sorting everything that comes out of the closet. Also, have bags handy for things that you want to toss. Common categories include:

Trash—we use black garbage bags to make it easy to remember what is trash

Recycle or shred—paper bags work well for this; you can write recycle and shred on the bag handle so you don’t get confused about which is which)

Donate—white plastic bags are great for clothes and coats, paper bags are great for books or breakables

Sell—reusable shopping bags are sturdy enough to take items to consignment

Relocate—you will also most likely find items that belong in a different part of your house. Have a few baskets, boxes, or bags ready to hold these items until you can put them where they belong.

Step 3: Rattle those bones!

Take everything out of the closet. Put like with like. For example, gather all the umbrellas together, pair up all the mittens and gloves, make a pile of bags, group all the hats, and so on. Now will be the time that you will find some skeletons in your closet. Don’t be scared, embrace the surprises! You might even laugh as you unpack your closet and wonder what on earth this random thing is doing here! You should definitely post your funny finds on social media and tag us!

Step 4: Witch stays, witch goes?

Once you have everything sorted into categories, go through each category and decide what needs to go. Put them into the containers you have on hand for trash, recycle, shred, donate, sell, or relocate. Throw away anything old or expired, such as sunscreen, bug spray, lotion or whatever else you may find. Donate unwanted or no longer-needed items! Things you don’t use just take up valuable space, physical and mental. No matter how much you spent on it, your space is far more valuable.

Step 5: Clear the cobwebs…

Once you have finished sorting and cleared out all the clutter, take a minute to clean your closet and any organizing containers you plan to use. Dust the baseboards and shelves. Don’t forget the corners! It feels really good to have a fresh start!

Now, it is time to assign a home for everything. A home is where the item can live when it is not in use. The home should be based on how often something is used. For example, you want to keep frequently used things in clear view and at your fingertips, while less frequently used things can go on a top shelf.

Step 6: Trunks for your treats

Once you have decided where something should live, you can then determine what containers to use to keep things categorized and tidy. Storing categories into aesthetically pleasing containers turns your closet into a destination that you enjoy visiting. You have all the freedom in the world to play around a bit with this, finding the right balance and look. Depending on the size of your hall closet, you might find some of the following organizing tools helpful. They are available in different sizes and you can mix and match according to your needs. Click the images below to view and buy on Amazon.

Clear containers with lids that can be stacked, like these, can store off-season or less frequently used items and maximize vertical space on shelves.
Pretty baskets, like these, are perfect for purses, hats, scarves, and more.

 

 

Over-the-door shoe organizers, like this one, are great for mittens, gloves, leashes, sunscreen, bug spray, and more.

 

 

 

 

 

Step 7: Quoth the raven, “Nevermore.”

With regular maintenance, your closet will never again be a scary place! Once your closet looks and feels amazing, you will be motivated to keep it that way. We also recommend labeling any containers that you are using, making it easier for you, and others in your household, to put things back where they belong. Now step back, take a picture, end enjoy! Don’t forget to tag us in your photos!

 

Maintenance Tip: go through your closet a couple times a year so that you can regularly weed out items that do not belong there. Once per season can be a good time to do this. As you swap out seasonal items, discard things that won’t make it to next year and make a list of what to replace.

Pro Tip: We recommend storing off-season items in a box on the top shelf or in an out-of-the-way spot in the closet. Then you can change out your seasonal items according to the season.

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